All the flavors of buffalo chicken turned into a fondue-like cheesy dip. Everyone loves this dip! Jump to the Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
Not too long ago, we shared our take on buffalo chicken inspired pizza and family-friendly buffalo chicken stuffed shells. We’ve even shared how to make homemade three-ingredient buffalo wing sauce. They were (and still are) a huge hit. Thankfully, we’ve found another good excuse to indulge in buffalo chicken — this cheesy buffalo chicken dip recipe.
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How to Make Chicken Dip Inspired By Buffalo Chicken Wings
This is slightly different to many of the buffalo chicken dips shared on other websites. Other recipes go for more of a thicker dip made from a hefty amount of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cubed chicken and blue cheese or ranch dressing. Instead we love this creamy, cheesy fondue-style dip.
The base of our dip is actually a version of Béchamel sauce, which basically means a sauce made of milk that has been thickened with a cooked butter-flour mixture. We use a similar sauce when making our Macaroni and Cheese recipe.
Onion, celery and lots of cheese are added to the sauce – we use a combination of cream cheese and sharp cheddar. Then we stir in a hearty amount of hot sauce and some shredded chicken.
By the way, if you wanted to skim down on steps for the recipe, you can leave the chicken out. Technically, it won’t be a buffalo “chicken” dip, but it still tastes amazing and works perfectly served with crisp veggies, chips or even strips of chicken on the side.
After tasting for spiciness, we pour the dip into a baking dish, top with just a touch more cheese and broil until bubbly and golden brown.
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Recipe updated, originally posted March 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe
This creamy, cheesy buffalo cheese dip is perfect when served next to crisp celery sticks and tortilla chips. We like to use Frank’s Red Hot Original hot sauce for this since it’s full of flavor, but not too hot. Feel free to experiment with your favorite hot sauce, just keep in mind the one you choose may be spicier than Franks, so be sure to taste as you add it to the dip.
We should mention that this dip is just as good without chicken. We’ve made it both ways and think you and your friends will love both options. So if you want to save a little dough or have more hearty things to dip on the side (chicken tenders?), skip the chicken.
You Will NeedChicken
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or substitute chicken breasts
Salt and fresh ground black pepperBuffalo Dip
2 cups milk, 2 % or whole are best
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery (1 celery stalk)
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
5 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Original hot sauce, or more to taste
Celery and/or tortilla chips for serving
- Cook Chicken
- Make Dip
- To Finish
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet with lid over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and looks shimmery, add chicken. Cook until the underside turns golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Flip, reduce heat to low then cover with lid. Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 165º F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast, 10 to 15 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, use two forks to shred chicken, then set aside.
Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat and set aside. (Or, heat in a microwave-safe container in the microwave).
Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onions and celery soften, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and the flour. Cook, while whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown in color, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. While whisking constantly, slowly pour the warmed milk into the flour mixture. Continue whisking until smooth. It will get thick at first and then thin out.
Return the saucepan to medium heat and while whisking constantly cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Stir in cream cheese and all but a handful of the cheddar cheese until melted and smooth. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and 5 tablespoons of the hot sauce. Taste the dip for spiciness and seasoning then adjust with additional hot sauce and salt. Stir in shredded chicken.
Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high.
Pour the dip into a 2-quart baking dish then top with the leftover cheddar cheese. Place baking dish onto a baking sheet lined with foil then broil dip until the top is bubbling and the cheese begins to brown. Serve with tortilla chips and celery sticks.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Make Ahead: You can prepare the buffalo chicken dip 2 to 3 days in advance. Follow our recipe directions for making the buffalo chicken dip until it is time to transfer to a baking dish. Store the dip covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat the dip in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated through. Pour the dip into the baking dish, add extra cheese on top and broil until the top is bubbling and cheese begins to brown. (Keep the following in mind when making ahead: FoodSafety.gov says cooked chicken is safe refrigerated 3 to 4 days).
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We did not include tortillas in the calculations.